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Easter and DDTC

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Easter means spring! And even though the weather has warmed up and most of the snow is gone, on the long walk we took with the dogs today I could have happily worn earmuffs thanks to a strong, cold wind.

Easter also means that we are at our off-site storage location, aka my parents, so though the selection is plenty, it is heavily red and riesling. @WineGuyTO dug around and found a 2007 Flat Rock Twenty Mile Bench Chardonnay that complemented both the fish for Good Friday and the ham for Easter dinner.

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The colour was light straw but very buttery, somewhat lighter than what @WineGuyTO was expecting.  The nose showed some butter and the evidence of oak barrels.  The flavours definitely balanced nicely with some acidity to complement the fruits and alcohol.  I found a note of toasted wood on the palate, with a medium finish that was pleasant.

**I have decided to amalgamate all DDTC posts in a monthly post going forward.  So stay tuned for the rest of April at the end of the month!

Pinterest inspired Easter Treats

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Originally published April 2012

I don’t think I am alone in the craze that is pinning on Pinterest.  Most of what I have pinned/liked have been recipes.  I was inspired by two pins this Easter, mainly because I am addicted to Cadbury Mini Eggs and needed to use up the kilogram bag I had.  Also being a 4 day weekend for me, I actually had some time to bake.

First up was the easy recipe from The Happy Baker: Mini Egg Shortbread cookies.  I only had one problem with the recipe, it did not give  an idea of how much one batch would make, so I doubled the recipe.  75 cookies later…..

Everyone at work loved them, and because it is shortbread, I can easily freeze them to eat throughout the year. They were the right texture and the chocolate was a nice crunch without  overwhelming the cookie.

Next up was a picture I saw, and after some digging, found out it was from the Peeps website; a cake made to look like a sunflower.  I did a chocolate fudge double layer cake with chocolate buttercream (real butter!) and raspberries in the middle.  This did not turn out quite how I hoped as I thought that having the Peeps upside down would look better.  Unfortunately, I could not secure them and turned them right-side up (which is actually how they were supposed to be once I looked back at the website again). This made the end result messy, and being just a little bit of a perfectionist at times, did not make me feel that I had done a good job.

That being said,  there was just enough left at the end of the workday so that @WineGuyTO could have a slice :)

Pinot goes with everything DDTC

When you sit in traffic for double your normal commute, you look forward to Wine Wednesday.  Tonight was about leftovers (schnitzel) so we were not looking to pair anything specific.  Strangely we did not have any riesling in the wine fridge, so I went down to the cellar to find a Pinot Noir and pulled out Flat Rock’s Gravity 2009.

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At first impression, from the nose there is a slight barnyard earthiness with cherries in the background.  The colour is brick red with good clarity.  The flavours are full of ripe red fruits, a hint of tannins and good balancing acidity.  The finish is medium with the cherries and a hint of spice at the end.  And it goes well with Cadbury Mini Eggs ;)

DDTC Memories from March Break

You may remember my trip to Sonoma a few years ago (Redwoods, wine and convicts).  This year we went to the Mayan Riveria (more on that in a different post) and just got back in time to open a bottle from the cellar and make sure we did not miss a week in our Drinking Down the Cellar challenge.  The wine we choose one from that Sonoma trip, Il Cuore, the Heart Barbera 2009. We opened it and then went to diner so that it could breathe.

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Trying to get light through it to show the gorgeous dark red of the wine.

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It had a deep ruby colour that was almost purple, really evident on the cork which had crystals developing.  The nose is quite soft, with balanced fruits and mellow tannins.  The finish was medium and pleasant.  It was an interesting blend of Barbera, zinfandel, merlot and syrah.

Really reaching into the cellar this week and last

As we were going to our secure off-site storage last weekend (aka my parents’ house) I held off posting as I knew that @WineGuyTO would be picking something good to drink.  So this post is last week and this week’s bottles in one.

Last week we opened two bottles: a 2005 Kangarilla Road McLaren Vale Shiraz,  and a 2000 Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois from Château Soudars.

 

I love the McLaren Shiraz, its one of my favourites and I’m glad there are still three more in the cellar.  It has a dark ruby colour, with a nose of peppers and dark fruits that kept developing as it opened.  The palate contained plum, pepper, chocolate and tart cherries, which balanced well with soft tannins and slight acidity.

 

The Haut-Médoc was something we picked up at a SAQ dépot in Hull about three years ago.  There they have discounts if you buy multiple bottles, which helped convinced @WineGuyTO to buy a case!  The colour was a deep red with almost a purple tinge.  Initials flavours were leather, chocolate and black currants.  The tannins were nicely mellowed with a balanced finish, and there was lots of sediment in the bottle.  We drank this with roast beef.

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This week we also delved deep into the cellar and opened a 1997 Pilliteri Süssreserve Vidal.  I had made chicken enchiladas which had a little spice to them, and the Vidal nicely complimented them.  There was some cork issues, it had disintegrated on the top half, but maintained integrity for the bottom half.  We did have to filter out the pieces that fell into the bottle.  The wine was a deep honey yellow with a peach tinge.  The nose was intriguing with melons being very present.  I found that the sweetness mellowed out as it opened up.

 

And back to red for DDTC

I know, we had two bottles of red wine last week but until it gets warmer, I am not sure how much white we will be drinking.

This week was a pairing for steak so @WineGuyTO chose a Castello Sansano Chianti Classico from 2005.  Because it had not been opened beforehand, it got poured through our Vinturi aerator.  The colour was a deep garnet red and the initial nose gave thoughts of raisins and red fruits, very pleasant. The Sangiovese grapes produced good tannins and some acidity to balance the fruits nicely.  The finish was medium and fairly pleasant.  And it seems that we still have more in the cellar!

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Making dumplings for Chinese New Year

I enjoy challenging myself and frequently will make something based off an idea or a recipe I have seen having never made it before.  This week is Chinese New Year and I thought, why not try making dumplings?  Our friends @munchkinkaty and @scotchguyto also joined in the fun, taking us into Chinatown T&T to get our ingredients (the bad driving due to snow derailed our plans somewhat).

We made four different dumplings: shrimp and scallion, pork, sweet potato and blackberry, and duck and cherry.  All dumplings were adapted from recipes found online (and listed at the end).  The great thing about dumplings is that we could freeze them to eat when we want.

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It took a while for Katy and I to (kind of) master the folding technique, it became more or less whatever we felt like in the end.  We did manage to fold each type of dumpling differently, which made them easier to identify later when cooking.

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Top L-R: Pork, sweet potato with blackberry Bottom L-R: Duck with cherry, shrimp and scallion

 

We opened a bottle of Rosewood Pinot Noir Reserve 2009 to complement the flavours, and I think they went well together.  A favourite wine and winery of ours, the Pinot nose teases you with cherries and strawberries that are then evident on the palate.  After an hour being open, additional berries became evident, such as raspberries and black currants.  The colour shows signs of a little bit of age, as the edge is not as red as the centre.  The overall colour is more brick red than the usual pigeon blood red.

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Recipes:

Duck – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1900634/duck-dumplings –> the green onion to duck ratio was large.  ‘Small’ bunch of green onions really should be 2-3 onions.

Pork – http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chinese-pork-dumplings/ –> The recipe is not divided up well between the dipping sauce and the filling; this is where prepping ingredients is key.

Shrimp – http://appetiteforchina.com/recipes/shrimp-and-chive-dumplings

Sweet Potato – http://brokeassgourmet.com/articles/sweet-potato-gyoza –> we doubled this and added a half pint of blackberries.  It made close to 85 dumplings.

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